Bollywood seems to be in a mad rush these days, running a very important race. No folks, we aren’t wildly speculating about some sporting event in B’town, but we are talking about the big race in Bollywood: the race to reach a 100 Crores, which our filmmakers are each trying their utmost best to win.
The race to 100 crores has heated up in the past two years or so, where we have seen big-ticket films scale all-time highs, in their quest to make the most money. We guess it all started with Aamir Khan’s ‘3 Idiot’’, which was one of the first films to enter the coveted ‘100 crore club’. The film naturally went on to do bigger business, even touching the obscenely till-then unheard of Box Office figures of 300+ crores throughout its lifetime.
Most filmmakers started vying to attain the sublimal heights of the magical number, and started directing their efforts to make what is now called a ‘100 Crore film’.
Since then, we have seen a slew of Masala entertainers such as ‘Ready’, ‘Bodyguard’, ‘Dabangg’, ‘Rowdy Rathore’, ‘Housefull 2’, ‘Singham’, and many many other such films which have appealed to the audiences at large.
So much so, that we even have films like ‘Barfi!’ and ‘English Vinglish’, both considered somewhat experimental mainstream cinema, kissing the sublime heights of the 100 crore peak.
So what is it that makes a film touch 100 crores? Is there a special formula, that filmmakers employ, to ensure their films cross that special threshold and become elite members of the ‘100 crore club’?
Most filmmakers are seemingly stumped when posed that question. They claim to not know what will appease the extremely fickle audiences; they say they are unsure what will tickle the funny bone of the cine-goer, and have him reach into his wallet to spare Rs 100, 200 or 400 for a movie ticket. Will it be comedy, action, romance or drama which will appeal to the universal audiences (for the various films that made it to 100 crores are from several different genres)?
Whatever seems to be the formula filmmakers employ, it’s clearly working. Southern remakes are all the rage now in Bollywood, and filmmakers are going beside themselves with glee, when each new film touches a 100 crores. Because the success of one film spawns another slew of films in the same genre, which end up having a similarly happy fate at the box office.
As Salman Khan was among the first few people in Bollywood to quantify this new trend into words: “See, with each new film, the budgets are increasing, as the distribution is becoming more widespread. For instance, we are now seeing more prints being released, and more shows lined up for these films. So it is but natural that the profits start reflecting the increased numbers. Where a film does 100 crores today, next year another film might touch 200/ 300/ 400 crores. So it is very positive for the Industry as a whole to see this new trend of ‘100 crore films’.”